June 29, 2016 He Never Died (Movie Review)
Latest Horror film, He Never Died, hits with a bang, and for just cause. The Indie film was written and directed by Jason Krawczyk (The Briefcase 2011, Next Time 2013) and features well-known Actor/Singer/Comedian Henry Rollins (Wrong Turn 2: Dead End 2007, The Devil’s Tomb 2009) as the main character, Jack. Already intriguing for that fact alone, it premiered at South by Southwest Festival in 2015 and became available on DVD in early 2016 via Vertical Entertainment.
Jack is a loner who maintains a daily routine, which includes avoiding other people as much as possible. Jack is no ordinary man with a dark past, as a consequence of his sins he has cannibalistic tendencies. He despises these impulses, hence he stays away from temptation. Jack spends his days at a diner where he chats with waitress Cara (Kate Greenhouse: The Miracle Worker 2000, The Dark Hours 2005), who has a crush on him, meeting with Medical Intern Jeremy (Booboo Stewart: The Twilight Saga, X-Men: Days of Future Past 2014), who provides him with human plasma and sleeping pills.
Jack has existed this way for several millennia, and it is not until he meets with Jeremy as usual one day that things begin to fall apart. Jeremy has gotten into trouble with some mobsters, Steve (David Richmond-Peck: Fantastic Four 2005, Pacific Rim 2013) and Short (James Cade: Lost Girl TV series, Rookie Blue TV series). They see Jack with Jeremy and assume he will lead them to Jeremy. A short time after arriving at Jack’s apartment, the two men realize they have made a mistake and misjudged Jack. However, this does not stop them pursuing him.
To further mess up his existence, a long lost daughter, Andrea (Jordan Todosey: Degrassi: The Next Generation TV series, Murdoch Mysteries TV series) turns up on his door step. Jack’s quiet life disappears and he quickly sets about to fix it. When Alex (Steven Ogg: Better Call Saul TV series, The Walking Dead TV series), Jack’s former boss, kidnaps Andrea as revenge on Jack, he is forced to reveal his true identity to Cara in order for her to help him. Despite Jack paying her a million dollars, his not dying when he should proves a little much for her to cope with initially. In one night, Jack must embrace who he is to save Andrea and restore his former life.
Overall, He Never Died is edgy and packed full of dark humor. Rollins kills it as Jack, as if the role had been written for him. He never breaks character and shifts effortlessly between action and comedic scenes. Each character is well developed and bounce off each other. The dialogue is realistic, and as the plot moves along, reveals character aspects and back information rather than filling in time. The special effects are outstanding with plenty of gore and violence to keep die-hard Horror fans satisfied.
Filming took place in Toronto Canada, and at a running time of 99 minutes, is way too short. The cinematography by Eric Billman (The Naughty Kitchen with Chef Blythe Beck 2009, The Face 2013), captures the creepy uneasy feeling surrounding Jack and his life. The entire movie is a viewing pleasure, leaving the viewer gasping for more. Fans of the film will be pleased to know, rather than a sequel, a mini series has been commissioned that will delve into and expand Jack’s story and history. Rollins will continue to play Jack, and Krawszyk is set to return as director. The combination of Rollins and Krawszyk is an exciting one to keep an eye out for in the future. A must watch for all Horror fans of true cinema, CrypticRock.com scores He Never Died 5 out of 5 stars.